China’s Trade Surplus. America’s Export Growth.

Related entries: Economy, General, News, Trading

Bloomberg reports:

    “China’s trade surplus widened to a record in September, boosting the currency reserves that may shield the world’s fourth-biggest economy from the global crisis.

    Exports rose 21.5 percent from a year earlier to $136.4 billion after gaining 21.1 percent in August, the customs bureau said on its Web site. The trade surplus climbed to $29.3 billion, a figure derived by deducting the value of imports from the number for exports.

    …Imports increased 21.3 percent to $107.1 billion after climbing 23.1 percent in the previous month. Falling prices for commodities such as copper and oil have trimmed the value of inward shipments.”

But the story has a twist when it comes to the US (it is not all bad news!), and the age-old issue of its trade deficit. The Economist noted in August that:

    “For the first time in years, China’s exports are growing more slowly than America’s. In the 12 months to June (the latest month available for both countries), America’s exports grew by 23%, well ahead of China’s 17% (in dollar terms). Export volumes show a similar trend. China’s rose by 11% in the year to the second quarter, while America’s climbed by 12% (see left-hand chart). Stephen Green, an economist at Standard Chartered, expects China’s real export growth to fall to zero by the end of this year and to turn negative next year.

    …Bilaterally, it is the same story: America’s exports to China were 20% higher in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2007, while its imports from China were up only 4%. However, America’s import bill for goods from China is so huge—four times that of exports—that the rising exports have not dented America’s overall trade deficit with China. The changing patterns, buried beneath the headline figures, are very hard to spot.”

Of course, with the global credit crunch taking all the headlines, the China story has been knocked off the front pages. Less political posturing, and China-bashing, in the run-up to the US Presidential elections may allow for trade to do its thing, allowing US, and other, companies to benefit from increased Chinese domestic consumption. While traditional export markets are in turmoil, China – with its increasing spending power, and strong currency – has rarely looked so attractive to western exporters.

See news sources:

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.